Jump to content

Man Throws Away 7,500 Bitcoins, Now Worth $7.5 Million


Recommended Posts

I really don't know too much about the Bitcoin thing ... have read about it here and there ... I don't have any. Could this someday be like the "tulip investing bubble" in Holland and Europe in the 1600's? I would think the owners of the landfill may be looking for that hard drive.

Man Throws Away 7,500 Bitcoins, Now Worth $7.5 Million

November 29, 2013


CARDIFF, Wales (CBS DC) – A British man says he threw out a hard drive that had 7,500 bitcoins on it, worth over $7.5 million as of Wednesday.

James Howells of Wales purchased the suddenly skyrocketing Internet currency for almost nothing back in 2009.

He says he likely threw out the hard drive sometime over the summer, and only recently remembered what was on it.

“You know when you put something in the [trash], and in your head, say to yourself ‘that’s a bad idea’? I really did have that,” Howells, who works in IT, told the Guardian.

A few months after Bitcoin’s launch, Howells created a computer program to “mine” the digital currency.

He later spilled lemonade on that laptop, so he dismantled it for parts, keeping the hard drive in a drawer for three years.

The drive contains the cryptographic “key” that is necessary to access and spend the Bitcoins.

Without that key, the “money” cannot be spent and is lost forever.

It was just this past summer that he went through his belongings and threw out the hard drive, thinking it was junk.

When he realized his mistake, Howells searched all his storage devices for a backup copy but could not find one.

Then he went down to the landfill with the idea of digging for it, but was told it’s not as simple as going in with a shovel.

“Even for the police to find something, they need a team of 15 guys, two diggers, and all the personal protection equipment. So for me to fund that, it’s not possible without the guarantee of money at the end.”

But he’s still hopeful that someone may find the hard drive, and split the take with him.

“If they were to offer me a share, fair enough,” he said. “If they were to go out and find it for themselves … it’s my mistake throwing the hard drive out, at the end of the day.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, didn't see that CharlotteTheHarlot had already made mention of this on Nov 28th in Post #4649 of Windows 8 - Deeper. I don't think I can completely delete this post but perhaps a moderator can do so or just let it slowly fade away on it's own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something I asked myself quite a bit of time ago (and completely failed to understand), JFYI:


In my old-school simplicity when (and if) I will be able to walk to a bank (or pawn shop or postal office), give them a handful of bytes on some media and get in exchange 1,200 US$ (possibly in the form of 12 Benjamins ;)) then a bitcoin will have a value of 1,200 bucks.

Besides, try googling for "bitcoin theft" :ph34r:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK I see your post goes back to Aug 2011 ... I don't think I knew much about the Bitcoin thing till this year. I googled "bitcoin theft" and that is an eye opener. I don't see where having Bitcoins is a "safe" or "lose no sleep" type of thing and I can still see a Bitcoin web site just vanish one day.

I'm with you, I'd rather have those Benjamins in my pocket or in a jar buried in the back yard and not a "flash drive" full of Bitcoins buried in the back yard. I'd be afraid when I went to dig it up one day, I'd just have a nice old "flash drive relic" and not much else.

They are hacking and stealing Bitcoins everywhere doing the Google search.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good, and now read this paper (and understand the perils that cooperative mining may lead to :ph34r: IF a large group adopts selfish mining techniques):




We show that, for a mining pool with high connectivity and good control on

information ow, the threshold is close to zero.

This implies that the Bitcoin system is safe only when 100% of the miners are

honest. The rst selsh miner will earn proportionally higher revenues than its

honest counterparts, and the revenue of the selsh mining pool will increase

superlinearly with pool size.


5 Pool Formation

We have shown that once a selsh pools mining power exceeds the threshold,

it can increase its revenue by running Selsh-Mine (Theorem 1). At this point,

rational miners will preferentially join the selsh pool to increase their revenues.

Moreover, the pools members will want to accept new members, as this would

increase their own revenue (Observation 2). The selsh pool would therefore

increase in size, unopposed by any mechanism, until it becomes a majority. Once

a miner pool, selsh or otherwise, reaches a majority, it controls the blockchain.

The Selsh-Mine strategy then becomes unnecessary, since the others are no

longer faster than the pool. Instead, a majority pool can collect all the systems

revenue by following the prescribed Bitcoin protocol, and ignore blocks generated

outside the pool; it also has no motivation to accept new members. At this point,

the currency is not a decentralized currency as originally envisioned.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is just stupid, they should retrieve his records, and when was the last time he used his "Bit-Coins". Their has to be some kind of paper back solution to this. Even an email notification or attachment.

That is just stupid, retarded, and dumb. I would rather have a warehouse full of gold, then a bunch of make-em up money.

I mean an old man was storing gold coins, in his house, and died. The new owners found the gold and the court gave it to them, because nobody claimed the gold and the house was sold.

I could really use 7.5 million dollars right about now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have common ground on what you posted ... I could also use 7.5 million dollars right about now and it wouldn't have to be gold or Benjamins ... all small bills would work for me !

Edited by duffy98
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You wouldn't like to have US$ 2 bills and shop at Best Buy, though :whistle:

"original" news:

And be careful with old bills you dig out in your garden, too:

Hey, we could make a poll about members that could use 7.5 million dollars, with choices like:

  • Yes, right now
  • Yes, right about now
  • Yes, within the next two hours
  • Yes, within tomorrow
  • Yes, within one week time
  • Yes, in a foreseeable future
  • No. (I don't understand English, sorry)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

My My ... people not knowing if a $2 bill is for real in the US ... but then a few weeks ago I was reading that various people were asked recently to name the President or Vice President and many seem to have no clue!

I like the idea of the poll in reference to the 7.5 million dollars. I would have to pick "A" but I could also pick "C" ... I could wait two hours !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What sucks more is how people are using bit-coins, in place of Paypal. Because for some reason random people have the power to perswade Paypal to ban people, from receiving funds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as for now, Paypal will bann any accounts if it was known to be used for anything bitcoin related,

like buying/selling ASIC/coin-mining devices, or exchanging bitcoins for other fiat currencies, etc..

I remember reading that Paypal cited that too much transaction fraud happned involving bitcoins,

so Paypal decided to bann it all, even if both both seller & buyer actually doing a honest transactions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just spotted this in reference to Bitcoins ...

JPMorgan Files Patent for Bitcoin-style Payment System

December 10, 2013

By Tracy Alloway in New York


JPMorgan Chase has filed a US patent application for a computerised payment system that resembles some aspects of Bitcoin, the controversial virtual currency.

Like Bitcoin, JPMorgan’s proposed system would allow people to make anonymous, electronic payments over the internet, without having to reveal their name or account numbers or pay a fee, according to the patent application.

The application put a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes battle being waged between the biggest banks, credit card operators and companies such as Google, Apple and PayPal – are all keen to grab a slice of the rapidly expanding business of providing mobile and internet payments as more people shift to online buying.

At the same time, traditional finance companies have had to contend with new types of virtual currencies, which some people view as viable alternative payment systems that could one day challenge the biggest banks and credit cards.

... a little more to read at the link, I guess more changes are coming, good or bad. It says the original patent was filed in 1999 but I guess they did some updating.

"JPMorgan said in its patent application – which dates back to 1999 but was recently updated – that the new payment system would compete with debit and credit cards as the predominant way of making online transactions."

Edited by duffy98
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's that old saying .. "Timing is everything" ... and theirs ... kinda sucks ...

JPMorgan Chase data breach exposed half a million customers' data ( NeoWin 2013-12-09 )

JPMorgan Chase is the latest in a long line of companies to suffer a server breach exposing customer data; this time around, 465,000 customers may have had their personal details stolen from the banking giant.

The company played down the extent of the breach, saying that only a "small amount" of data was taken and that, while card numbers may have been exposed, it did not believe critical personal information such as birth dates and email addresses had been exposed. Even so, JPMorgan Chase is notifying affected customers through email starting Monday; the process is expected to take a few days.

As badly as I would like to see a truly anonymous non-PayPal payment portal, I'm starting to believe there will never be an institutionalized method. Hopefully I'm wrong.

One thing you can do is buy gift cards at stores that have no name or expiration date on them, they are underwritten by Amex or whatever big credit card company. You use them just like credit cards in checkout carts, but of course whatever you are buying needs to be shipped somewhere. You can use fake names but the shipping address of course will still be sitting on file in the servers of the seller and should they get hacked it will probably be out in the open. But at least the gift card is small and likely inconsequential to the hackers. There is always the old post office box idea, but many places won't ship to them, and naturally the Post Office has your name, but at least that PO Box Name would be kept in a separate file away from the seller.

Not that many good solutions at the present time. Still, it will be interesting to see how this JP Morgan idea pans out anyway. And maybe this hack will light a fire under the butts and cause them to lock their windows now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...